Assessing London CO2, CH4 and CO emissions using aircraft measurements and dispersion modelling

Joseph R. Pitt, Grant Allen, Stephane J.B. Bauguitte, Martin W. Gallagher, James D. Lee, Will Drysdale, Beth Nelson, Alistair J. Manning, Paul I. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a new modelling approach for assessing atmospheric emissions from a city, using an aircraft measurement sampling strategy similar to that employed by previous mass balance studies. Unlike conventional mass balance methods, our approach does not assume that city-scale emissions are confined to a well-defined urban area and that peri-urban emissions are negligible. We apply our new approach to a case study conducted in March 2016, investigating CO, For comparison, we also calculate fluxes using a conventional mass balance approach and compare these to the emissions inventory aggregated over the Greater London area. Using this method we derive much higher inventory scale factors for all three gases, as a direct consequence of the failure to account for emissions outside the Greater London boundary. That substantially different conclusions are drawn using the conventional mass balance method demonstrates the danger of using this technique for cities whose emissions cannot be separated from significant surrounding sources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8931-8945
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2019

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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